Cesar's Work

COM 210 @ WSU

Draft – Undocumented Talk

Idea and Inspiration

For this project I decided to create a flyer, particularly to be used for a Facebook event page image. In what seems to be the far future I hope to get my Ph.D. and become a retention counselor focused on our undocumented college students. One way to bring awareness to a particular topic, particularly one with academic ties, is to have a talk in an open environment to broadcast your message. In such a way I could not only inform students about real issues surrounding undocumented students but also address any questions or concerns that they may have.

Design Process

I based my design on the memory I have from some of the real flyers the Chicano/Latino Center here at Washington State University has used in the past for such talks. I used a picture I took of the orchard I live next to for the background because a lot of immigrants here in Washington work in the agricultural industry. I then used the Monarch butterfly to represent migration itself, as this type of butterfly migrates yearly to Mexico and back. Butterflies are viewed by everyone as beautiful so in using it I hope to portray migration as beautiful. I also used a quote I made up on the spot to help get the point across to anyone viewing the flyer. Finally I included a portrait of myself since I would be the person giving the talk.

Technical Detail

I found the image of the butterfly online, knowing that it is often used as a symbol for migration. The portrait of me and the sunrise in the orchard were both pictures taken on my phone. When putting it all together I started by creating a custom layer, 200 pixels bigger in both length and with than the image of the orchard and painted the background a color similar to the butterfly. I centered the orchard image placed the butterfly near the sunrise, placed my portrait (flipped horizontal) on the bottom left and then put in the text. I felt that there was too much negative space in the bottom right so I used the magic wand to select the want black of the butterfly, change it to the background color, and then delete everything else.

One challenge I encountered during this process was making only the area surrounding the butterfly colored. I tried using a clipping mask but to no avail. I ended up duplicating the orchard and making the top black and white. I then used the elliptical marquee with a feather to select an area around the monarch and deleted it. This exposed the color of the layer underneath.

Sources and Materials

Monarch Butterfly by Peter Miller via Flickr

Monarch Butterfly

Portrait of Cesar Castaneda (me) by Salomon Martinez

Salomon is a personal friend and took this picture of me so I could use it as a head-shot for social media. He gave me permission to use it for these purposes as well.


Image Collection

With this project I hope to show that being an undocumented student really means that you must work harder to prove yourself. However, being undocumented doesn’t make one inferior, rather stronger, unique, and accomplished.


Photo by Oregon State University – cortez



Photo by Peter Miller – Monarch Butterfly





Photoshop Tutorials

Here be completed tutorials. Arrgggg!

My Topic: Undocumented Students

The status of being an undocumented student is one that is very meaningful to me; I myself am an undocumented student. I was born in Mexico and was brought to the United States by my parents at the age of 2. I have spent these last 19 years living here; Washington is my home, my life is here. However, with Donald Trump’s new presidency, all that I know and love is in jeopardy. The day that President Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, my life changed for the better. Suddenly I was able to work with a valid Social Security number. The far-off dream of going to college suddenly became a possibility.

I did my best in high school, graduating salutatorian with a 3.957 GPA. This opened up the opportunity for me to get not only admitted to Washington State University but also receive enough financial aid to attend college. Coming to college, however, was a different story. Being a first generation college student was difficult enough but having limited resources still set me back and discouraged me from going outside of my comfort zone. I would go to class, eat, and play video games. It wasn’t until this last year that I found a group of individuals that I really connected to; those individuals that form the Crimson Group here at Washington State University.

The Crimson Group is an activist support group for undocumented students and allies. They have become my family away from home. Through the Crimson Group I have learned to stand up and fight for what is important to me; my right to an education where I want it. In these trying times, they are the ones that keep me going, head held high. Being undocumented is something that deeply affects me and is part of who I am but I have learned to use this label to empower myself rather than let it be a hindrance. That is why I have chosen “Undocumented Student” as my topic.

About Me – First Post

Photo Credit: Salomon Martinez

My name is Cesar Castaneda, a third-year student at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. I was born in Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of 2. I grew up in Wallula, Wa, a little town near the Tri-Cities. I went to State in tennis and graduated salutatorian from Columbia High School. I came straight to WSU after high school. While here I joined Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc., a multicultural fraternity that focuses on graduating our brothers and serving our community. Some of my interests include playing tennis and video games. Hobbies include crafts (anything from foam to woodworking) as well as working with electronics, whether it’s building or fixing them, especially computers.

I am a Comparative Ethnic Studies major with a minor in Human Development. I hope to eventually earn a Ph.D. and return to Washington State University as a retention counselor with an emphasis on undocumented students.

The main purpose of this blog is to post all of my completed multimedia projects for COM 210. However, I plan on keeping this site updated, shaping it to become a professional portfolio and supplement for my resume. In doing so I can display some of my work efficiently and professionally to potential employers.

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